Books & Articles – Siblings


Alber, E., C. Coe, and T. Thelen (Eds.). The Anthropology of Sibling Relations: Shared Parentage, Experience, and Exchange. 2013.

Caffaro, John V. and Allison Conn-Caffaro. Sibling Abuse Trauma. 2006.

Caspi, Jonathan (Ed.). Sibling Development: Implications for Mental Health Practitioners. 2010.

Edwards, Rosalind and Lucy Hadfield. Sibling Identity and Relationships: Sisters and Brothers (Relationships and Resources). 2006.

Goldenthal, Peter. Why Can’t We Get Along?: Healing Adult Sibling Relationships. 2002.

Pillemer, Karl. Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them. 2020.

Weihe, Vernon R. Sibling Abuse: Hidden Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma. 1990.


There are many memoirs that deal with sibling relationships. Some give details about horrific aggressive and abusive behavior. While there is value in uncovering and challenging the stigma of sibling abuse, and while we can celebrate the courage it takes for people to share their story as a cautionary tale, such memoirs tend not to provide the antagonist’s response or experience; this is especially problematic (for us) when they are still living. As an organization that understands the struggles in overcoming trauma, and the need for separation and revelation, we also recognize that arriving at mutual understanding, if not reconciliation, is most likely achieved through less public confrontations. Hence, our selection here is not comprehensive in our attempt to highlight books that reveal subtleties of sibling relationships and the impacts they can have on one’s life.

Biden, Hunter. Beautiful Things: A Memoir. 2021. Gallery Publishing Group. NPR Review.

Burrus, A Embry. The Life We Choose: A Sibling’s Story. 2017.

Chopra, Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra. Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny and the American Dream. 2013.

Duplass, Mark and Jay Duplass. Like Brothers. 2018. Ballantine Books.

Keaton, Diane. Brother & Sister: A Memoir. 2021.

Lesser, Elizabeth. Marrow: Love, Loss and What Matters Most. 2017.

Ling, Laura and Lisa Ling. Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home. 2011.

Mansbach, Adam. I Had a Brother Once: A Poem, A Memoir. 2021.

Rudnick, Susan. Edna’s Gift: How My Broken Sister Taught Me to Be Whole. 2019. She Writes Press. 


Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 1862.

Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son. 1848. Publisher Bradbury & Evans

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. 1880.

Eliot, George. The Mill on the Floss. 1860.

Fowler, Karen Joy. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel. 2013. 

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhem Grimm. Hansel and Gretel. There are many editions of this story by the Brothers Grimm, and some exceptional retellings such as the 1999 version by Rika Lesser, and Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator), or the 2008 version by Cynthia Rylant, and Jen Corace (Illustrator).

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. 2013. Alfred A. Knopf / Random House.

Lee, Mira T. Everything Here Is Beautiful. 2018.


Brenner, Bayla Sheva. A Stinging Silence: Living with Family Estrangement in Jewish Action, the Magazine of the Orthodox Union. Fall (2016).

Cicirelli, Victor G. Sibling Relationships in Cross-Cultural Perspective in Journal of Marriage and Family 56, no. 1 (1994) : 7-20.

Greene, Eric. Family Spirals Addresses ‘The Link’ and Sibling Abuse in LINK-Letter 5, no. 2 (2012) : 7.

Linscott, Jessica G. and Leslie D. Leve. Parent-Child and Sibling Relational Problems in Goldstein S., DeVries M. (eds.), Handbook of DSM-5 Disorders in Children and Adolescents Springer, Cham. (2017) 565–581.

O’Connor, Anahad. When the Bully Is a Sibling in New York Times. June 17, 2013.

Patton, William Wesley, and Sara Latz. Severing Hansel from Gretel: An Analysis of Siblings’ Association Rights in University of Miami Law Review 48 (1994) : 745-808.

Rapoza, Kimberly A., Kelley Cook, Tanvi Zaveri, and Kathleen Malley-Morrison. Ethnic Perspectives on Sibling Abuse in the United States. Journal of Family Issues 31, no. 6 (June 2010): 808–29.

Rebar, Darren, Nathan W. Bailey, Benjamin J. M. Jarrett, and Rebecca M. Kilner. An evolutionary switch from sibling rivalry to sibling cooperation, caused by a sustained loss of parental care in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, no. 5 (2/2020) : 2544-2550; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1911677117.

Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. M., Killoren, S. E., and Rodríguez, S. A. Cultural variations in sibling relationships in J. Caspi (ed.), Sibling development: Implications for mental health practitioners (2011) : 83–105.

Annotated Bibliographies

Frazier, Billie H. Selected Resources on Sibling Abuse: An Annotated Bibliography for Researchers, Educators and Consumers. 1994. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“This bibliography, begun in July 1993, is a compilation of selected materials on Sibling Abuse, a
type of family violence which receives little attention. Although the topic is relatively obscure,
the literature review revealed that sibling abuse, or violence between siblings, is quite
common. In fact, it has been shown to be even more common than child abuse (by parents) or
spouse abuse.”